HUNTINGTON - The West Virginia Department of Public Safety/State Police has been dismissed from a lawsuit alleging excessive force and assault.
The City of Barboursville/Barboursville Police Department; City of Huntington/Huntington Police Department; Det. S Hischman; Det. S. Bills; the Cabell County Commission; and John Doe, unidentified law enforcement officers or agencies, were also named as defendants in the suit.
A Partial Dismissal Order was filed Aug. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington.
Ashley Dale Ellis and the West Virginia Department of Public Safety/State Police and the unidentified law enforcement officers affiliated with the West Virginia State Police announced to the court that Ellis' claims against the WVDPS have been compromised and settled, according to the Partial Dismissal Order.
On May 14, 2010, Ellis was resting in bed at his residence when a task force of law enforcement officers arrived to execute a search warrant, according to a complaint filed May 11, 2012, in Cabell Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Sept. 14.
Ellis claimed he was awakened by the law enforcement officers, who were dressed in SWAT gear, and was immediately detained pursuant to the search warrant.
Despite the fact that Ellis was detained, outnumbered, unarmed, was not resisting arrest, was not attempting to flee, posed no risk to the law enforcement officers and was actually sleeping and without any prior warning or justification, the law enforcement officers began to strike him with their fists, feet and batons, according to the suit.
Ellis claimed the defendants continued to strike him violently in his face, abdomen, genitals and other extremely sensitive and vulnerable parts of his body.
The defendants’ actions caused Ellis to sustain injuries, humiliation, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, severe and permanent emotional distress and incurred medical expenses, according to the suit.
Ellis claimed the defendants also violated his constitutional rights.
The police departments and Cabell County Commission are liable for the acts of their officers and acts they committed in the course of their employments, according to the suit.
Ellis is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by E. Lavoyd Morgan Jr. of E. Lavoyd Morgan Jr. & Associates; and Steve A. Baker of the Baker Law Firm PC.
The City of Barboursville/Barboursville Police Department and the Cabell County Commission are being represented by Lee Murray Hall and Nathanial A. Kuratomi of Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC.
The West Virginia Department of Public Safety/State Police was represented by Michael D. Mullins of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC.
The case has been assigned to District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington case number: 3:12-cv-05438